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has been erected within a few years. The plant includes a slab mill, the plates being rolled from slabs. Melted iron is used to a great extent in the open-hearth plant.
The industry of this section is concentrated in the plants of the Illinois Steel Company. The plant at South Chicago embraces ten blast furnaces and a Bessemer plant which feeds a rail mill. The converting department is shown in Fig. XXII-H and the rail mill in Fig. XXII-I. The open-hearth and plate mill plant have already been mentioned. The rolling mill also turns out a certain proportion of axle billets and general merchant billets, the latter being sent to the Bay View works at Milwaukee for finishing into splice plates, small structural shapes and miscellaneous merchant bar. The defective rails are also sent from Chicago to Milwaukee to be rerolled into light rails. At Joliet, about 40 miles away, there is a Bessemer plant, fed partly by pig-iron used directly and partly by iron brought from furnaces at the North and Union Works at Chicago, which is remelted in cupolas. The mills at Joliet roll splice bars, skelp, wire rod and a large amount of sheet bar, and also send billets to the Bay Yiew Works at Milwaukee.
Note: Most of tha facts herein set forth are derived from a comprehensive pamphlet 11 Iron Making in Alabama," by Dr. W. B. Philips.
The third district in output of pig-iron is the northern central part of Alabama, with Birmingham as'its representative, the mines of the Red Mountain group contributing half the ore production of the State. Nowhere else in America is there a great producing district where ore and coal are side by side. The problem in most other districts is the smelting of good ore with good fuel and the making of acid Bessemer steel. In Alabama the conditions are more difficult, and resemble those of some metallurgical centers of the Continent, The ore is of low grade, the limonites being better than the hematites and the richer hematites practically exhausted. A great deal of the coke is made from coal that has been washed in order to lower the ash and sulphur. The phosphorus in the ores is not high enough to render possible the basic Bessemer process, and it is rather high for the basic open-hearth furnace. This does not mean that steel cannot be made in Alabama; it merely means that the cost of conversion will be greater in the long.run than in more favored districts, a fact which has not been considered by some investors and metallurgists.